Put me in, Coach! Name review of Tapestry
Fashion powerhouse Coach surprised the world by announcing that its parent company — which recently acquired Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman — will be changing its name to Tapestry.
Nary a name change escapes lampooning on Twitter, and after the requisite ridicule, Chief Executive Victor Luis quickly clarified that the Coach brand will not be changing; the company is merely creating a new corporate identity for its collection of brands.
In this case, I think Coach made absolutely the right decision.
Tapestry has a spot-on message — bringing us to fabric, fashion, and a kind of a collection or assortment, which speaks directly to its nature as a parent company of many brands (much like Google’s parent, Alphabet). Tapestry is soft and supple, yet balanced by the weight it carries from the T in Tap and the fact that it is three syllables long.
And perhaps thanks to Carole King and a healthy metaphorical use of the word in our lexicon, Tapestry feels classical, not outdated — it evokes a historical authenticity, like the Coach brand itself.
The company expresses its rationale for the change this way: “The name Tapestry reflects our core values of optimism, inclusivity, and innovation and speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, and authenticity on a shared platform” (from its FAQ for investors). I don’t particularly get optimism, or innovation (weaving is an ancient art form), but the other traits come across well.
The name and choice to create it also succeed from a naming architecture standpoint. Firstly, I think there is great value in keeping the Coach product brand on the same plane as the new acquisitions. Coach is known for bags. The creation of a separate parent entity allows the Coach brand to remain clearly associated with what it does best. Equally so, it allows the other brands to better keep their autonomy — which is important when your magic derives from what is portrayed as a single entity or even single designer’s vision. (Just ask fans of Pixar after Disney bought it.)
Secondly, when acquiring brands or spinning out many complementary products — as Tapestry’s strategy seems to be — it can get confusing if you don’t establish a clear system. The name Tapestry allows them to move forward with a, well, tapestry of acquisitions and new brands without confusion or conflict. Heck, they can now even acquire other brands that primarily do bags, which would have been weird had the umbrella company remained Coach.
Fashion powerhouse Coach surprised the world by announcing that its parent company — which recently acquired Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman — will be changing its name to Tapestry. … In this case, I think Coach made absolutely the right decision.